Book Report Assignment on Novels The Jilting of Granny Weatherall, Rose for Emily, The Tell-Tale Heart and Everyday Use
“A Rose for Emily” Questions:
The meaningful detail in Faulkner’s story from the strand of “iron-gray” hair on the second pillow is that is signifies aging and time. This is because Emily is seen as old-fashioned and thirty years have passed and she slept on the bed. The unnamed narrator in this story is a total omniscience or first person narrator because it is composed of all the townspeople in Jefferson, Mississippi.
“A Rose for Emily” gives us a better understanding of the story as a whole by it being told from the narrator’s point of view as opposed to giving us a third person point of view who would be unable to give us any emotions or feelings as well as knowing what is in the characters’ minds. This way, we are aware of all the thoughts and feelings.
“The smell coming from her house is foreshadowing the discovery of Homer Barron. Like when she bought the rat poison, the arsenic. That was over a year after they had begun to say ‘Poor Emily,’ and while the two female cousins were visiting her. (37) The smell coming from the house and Emily buying poison is what foreshadows the discovery of the body oh Homer Barron. The contrasts that the narrator draws between the changing reality is that there is no possibility of change on Emily’s perception of the world. One example, being her own house. Her home is not well-kept or maintained.
In the story, Emily’s background differs from Homer Barron because the townspeople spoke poorly of Homer – “The little boys would follow in groups to hear him cuss the riggers, and the riggers singing in time to the rise and fall of picks. Pretty soon he knew everybody in town. Whenever you heard a lot of laughing anywhere about the square, Homer Barron would be in the center of the group.”(36) She was upper class who came from a respected home and the older people disagreed with her dating Homer who was below her social status and had a bad background that was not very well known.
To me, this story seems a little weird. Certainly grim with some dark, mysterious humor found within.
I feel the author may have pity on Emily I did not feel Faulkner had a negative perception of Emily or viewed her as a “murderous madwoman”. In my opinion, I suppose Falkner calls her story “A Rose for Emily” because the Rose is Homer Barron, a lot of times people keep old roses for shadow boxes or just memories, as I often do. As Emily does with Barron.
“The Tell-Tale Heart” Questions:
This story is told in first person. It is being told from his own personal experience. It being told in first person point of view is particularly effective because he shares his feelings and what he is actually seeing.
Poe projects hallucinations in the narrator. In the beginning of the story he states the “I loved the old man. He had never wronged me.” (41) Then shortly after he states that “I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him.” (41) The narrator is an unreliable character because throughout the story he hears things that no one else can. He is extremely paranoid and not sane.
Poe does not share much information on the old man. He does share that In the beginning of the story he states the “I loved the old man. He had never wronged me.” (41) He is motivated to kill the old man because of his eye that he believes causes him pain. “For his gold i had no desire. I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture-a pale blue eye, with a film over it.” (41)
The narrator’s own crazy thoughts cause him not to commit the perfect crime because he believes that he can hear the old man’s heart beat through the floorboards. His obsessive delusions give him away.
The officers are able to chat calmly with the narrator because the only person hearing the beat of the old man’s heart is him. Thus being that he is extremely paranoid and hallucinating. “I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noirse arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder – louder – louder!” (45) The old man is the only one hearing anything, it’s all in his head. The police officers have no clue that he has killed the old man and buried him under the boards. His own conscious is what gets him caught.
“The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” Questions
In the first paragraph the writer tells us that Ellen (Granny) Weatherall is stubborn and uncompromising. “She flicked her wrist and neatly out of the Doctor Harrys pudgy careful fingers and pulled the sheet around the country with spectacles on his nose!” “There is nothing wrong with me.” (64)
The name Weatherall suggests that Granny is a strong woman who has been able to overcome all the hardships in her life. She’s been a strong woman who was able to raise her children on her own without her husband, being a mother and a father. Some qualities that I found throughout the story is that the Granny is a strong woman who has lived through it all. She has been through some rough patches in life and has overcome and continued to survive. We can see how this applies throughout the story especially when she shares that “She had fenced in a hundred acres once, digging the post holes herself fand clamping the wires with just a negro boy to help.” (67)
From paragraph 6, Porter is figuratively speaking to describe that Grannys time is coming. Her death is near and she will be passing soon. Literally speaking there is no way the doctor is saying that she is “floating”, she is just near death. In paragraph 56, her feet are being tickled because the priest praying for her soul with oil on her body. Sixty years earlier, Ellen had waited for George to marry him but he never showed up. This caused her to a feeling of being “jilted” – abandoned by her beloved and could not move on.
The man who “cursed like sailors parrot” in paragraph 49 was a guest at her wedding. “His hand caught her under the breast, she had not fallen”. (69) In paragraph 56, Granny knows that death is near as she says “She did not look in his face, for she knew without seeing, but looked instead down the road where the trees leaned over and bowed to each other and a thousand birds were singing a Mass.” (70) I do not think its failures on the authors part for not sharing the identity of these persons as it leaves mysteriousness for us to think and find out who they are.
The Jilting of Emily Weatherall is a prime example of stream of consciousness as she shares her memories and thoughts up to her death.
Cornelia is a caring, kind girl who tries her best to make Granny comfortable. Grannys last child, Hapsy, does not come to her mother’s deathbed because she has passed away, Implying that Hapsy has passed and has been waiting for her in another life. “I thought you’d never come,” (69)
Doctor Harry would be considered a “flat” character because we do not know much about him. The story would not change without him because he is insignificant. All we know of Doctor Harry is that he is in story supporting Grannys last days. The story is another “jilting” because Granny towards the end of the story Granny is waiting for God and he does not come in sight. The “Bridegroom” who is not in the house is God, he does not appear.
I would share with a critic that this short story is not just about an older woman who is passing onto a new life. It’s a story that goes into depth about her thoughts, regrets and emotions that lead to her last days.
“Everyday Use” Questions:
The basic conflict in “Everyday Use” is that the narrator must choose between her two daughters.
The tone of Walker’s story is frustration. The author communicates this in such a way that the readers know how the characters feel and their experiences. This story is told by the mother and is from the first person point of view. This gives us a deeper understanding about how the mother feels about her daughters. The narrator of the story sees Dee as a classic example. As a girl who is very bright and has potential of being an outstanding example. After Dee goes off to college she seems to frown upon her mother and sister as if she feels she is better than because she is becoming a new person.
The author attitude for both of the characters in her story is that the mother favorite is Dee, although she puts down her mother and forgets that she is in college because her mother was able to gather money the money to do so. The mother wishes that Dee would acknowledge this. Maggie the other daughter is not educated and has managed to find someone who wants to marry her, so she will be more likely passing down the heritage.
The levels of meaning I find in this story is that the story’s name is “Everyday Use” the mother literally wants them to use the quilts to be appreciated and used.
Maggie and her mother know a lot more about their heritage than Dee this is something that they passed down through generations and her mother contributes to this by teaching them the traditional skills.
I believe that the story being written by a black writer influenced my reactions to the story since she was of color and could have experienced the situations because of her heritage.
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